Highway robberies may have taken a turn for the worse after a police sergeant, Williams Godwin, was allegedly involved in the robbery of a commuter identified only as Henry.
Punch Metro learnt that the 41-year-old victim was on his way to work when he joined a cab along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway en route to Lagos Island.
He was said to have been attacked at gunpoint, as the assailants, which included Godwin, allegedly dispossessed him of his ATM card and N4,000.
However, during the incident, the policeman’s ID card allegedly fell into the luggage of the victim, who was rushed to the Lagos State Accident and Emergency Centre at Toll gate, Ojota, where he was admitted and treated.
One of those who rescued Henry told Punch Metro that he was stabbed with a sharp object in the back.
He said, “The incident happened on Wednesday, October 18, 2017. The man was going to work on the Lagos Island when he boarded the private car. Along the way, they pointed a gun at him and took his ATM card and the N4,000 in his bag.
While the policeman was ransacking the man’s luggage, his ID card fell into the man’s bag. They stabbed him with a sharp object and dropped him off.”
A Punch correspondent, who visited the centre, confirmed that Henry was indeed admitted to the facility.
A worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said incidents of car robberies, aka One Chance, had become regular in the area.
She said passersby and sympathisers, who sighted victims of such attacks, sometime called the emergency toll-free lines through which the centre got notifications.
She said, “Yes, the man was brought here. I think he’s about 41-year-old. He said he boarded a private car, which he thought was a cab. He was seriously injured and we had to treat him. He had the ID card of the policeman that he claimed was among those that attacked him.”
A Punch correspondent gathered that Henry took away the original ID card of the policeman.
Punch Metro visited Henry’s residence in the Ogba, Agege area to speak with him on his encounter with the bandits.
The house gate was locked, but a resident later showed up.
The resident, who confirmed the attack, said Henry had decided not to talk about it.
Another neighbour, Ben, declined to release Henry’s telephone number, saying he had put the robbery behind him.
A Punch correspondent, however, gathered that there had been a surge in the number of victims of One Chance robberies along the Berger/Secretariat/Toll gate ends of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Some of the victims, a Punch correspondent learnt, were admitted to the Accident and Emergency Centre.
In the course of investigating Henry’s attack at the centre, a Punch correspondent sighted a victim who worked with a popular club on Lagos Island.
The man, who identified himself only as Dotun, said he was attacked by a nine-man gang.
He said, “I was going to my place of work at Obalende when I entered a Vanagon bus at the Berger end of the expressway around 6am on October 25. We were about nine on the bus, including a man who wore a tie. He sat in the front. All of them were hefty men and wore regular clothes.
“When we got to Secretariat bus stop, they held me by the neck and I thought they wanted to kill me. I started to struggle with them as they punched and hit me from different sides. They took all the money in my bag and collected my ATM card. I wouldn’t know if they had a POS machine. But they slotted it inside something and said there was no money in it. The last thing I remember is that they hit my head against the vehicle and I passed out.”
The hospital source told our correspondent that a woman had also been attacked in a similar manner three days before Dotun’s attack.
She said the victim was stabbed in different parts of her body and all her money was collected.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said he would call back, but had yet to do so as of press time.